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More Than 47% of Americans "Depend" on Government, Mr. Romney

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Speaking to a group of like-minded conservatives, Mitt Romney disses the 47% of Americans who, he claims, "are dependent upon government, who believe that they are victims, who believe the government has a responsibility to care for them, who believe that they are entitled to health care, to food, to housing, to you-name-it."

Raise your hand if you:

  • went to a public college or university
  • work for government (i.e., cops, teachers, firefighters, military, social workers, librarians, school janitors, judges, court reporters, bus drivers, etc),
  • borrow books from a public library,
  • work for or own stock in a defense contractor,
  • get your electricity or water from a government-owned utility,
  • went to, or send your kids to, public school,
  • ride on government-run buses, subways or light-rail,
  • use or work for the post office,
  • went to college on the GI Bill, Pell Grant, state financial aid program,
  • are retired and get Social Security payments,
  • ever used food stamps,
  • lived in public housing or had a Section 8 voucher,
  • used a wheelchair ramp mandated by the Americans for Disability Act,
  • get your health care from the Veterans Administration hospital,
  • go boating or fishing in a government-run lake,
  • have a job whose workplace is safer because of OSHA rules
  • work for a company or nonprofit organization that has a contract with the local, county, state or federal government
  • have a family member who depends on a government-subsidized home health care aide,
  • pay for your medicine and medical care with Medicaid,
  • got a tax subsidy for your mortgage interest and/or property taxes,
  • recycle your garbage through your city's sanitation department,
  • took a vacation in a national or state park,
  • own a family- or corporate-owned farm that is irrigated by a government-owned dam,
  • played baseball or soccer or used the see-saw or swings in a public park or playground,
  • got your polio and other vaccination shots at your public school,
  • traveled with a government-issued passport,
  • used an elevator inspected for safety by the local building department,
  • eat food inspected for safety by the U.S. Department of Agriculture,
  • went to a restaurant inspected by the local Health Department,
  • were helped by a police officer, park ranger or firefighter,
  • have a savings account in a bank regulated by the Federal Deposit insurance Corporation
  • flew on an airplane inspected by the Federal Aviation Administration

Peter Dreier teaches politics at Occidental College and is author of The 100 Greatest Americans of the 20th Century: A Social Justice Hall of Fame, published in July by Nation Books

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